According to rumors swirling around the web these days, EA is looking to release a service similar to Call of Duty Elite. BF3Blog first reported on the possibility of this back in February, and now it appears that the rumors are true. The service, called “Battlefield Premium”, would work much like CoD Elite, where players pay a subscription fee or a one-time fee, and get “content drops” in return. As a leaked description of the service says:
“Battlefield™ Premium will land you a number of content drops with unique in-game items not available anywhere else. First out is the one-of-a-kind Premium knife and black dog tag, plus a set of soldier camos, weapon camos, dog tags and Assignments that will make sure you stand out and get more personalization options.”
The new service is rumored to be unveiled at E3 2012 in the beginning of June. While the service sounds very similar to what Call of Duty has, this wouldn’t be the first time a Battlefield game gets this kind of DLC: Bad Company 2′s “Specact Kit”, offered players new player and weapon camouflage for $5.
EA just announced the first ever double XP weekend for a Battlefield game: Battlefield 3 will be getting a double XP weekend from May 12 to 14, where all points scored will be doubled. The double XP weekeend starts at 12:01 AM PST tonight. Double XP weekends have been run by many games over the years, including for many Call of Duty and Halo titles. It’s essentially a way of boosting player numbers for a short period of time by offering incentives. The Battlefield 3 double XP weekend will be live on all platforms.
UPDATE: due to issues, the PC version of double XP weekend has been moved to May 26-27. Apparently, it wasn’t working at all and actually broke the game, where players weren’t receiving points for awards etc. Hopefully it’ll work in two weeks time.
EA just released their financial earnings report, where they revealed that Battlefield 3 has shipped 15 million copies, making it the best selling Battlefield title to date. That’s a good $900 million at the box office, not counting in DLC sales and sales of online passes for used games. EA expects Battlefield 3 sales to reach 18 million by the end of the fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2013. Back in February, EA reported that Battlefield 3 has sold 10 million copies.
EA CEO John Riccitiello told analysts and shareholders that Battlefield 3 has managed to eat into Call of Duty’s market share for first person shooters. Riccitiello said, “Battlefield 3 took a very significant share from the leading competitor on its way to being one of the biggest selling titles in EA history”. EA also confirmed that Battlefield 3 will see DLC releases next month, this Fall and Winter as well.
VOIP — Voice Over IP — a way of voice communicating on PC, is one of the many requested features for Battlefield 3. However, according to DICE’s Daniel Matros, there are currently no plans of implementing the feature right now. When asked about VOIP on Twitter, Matros replied, “Won’t be implemented as is right now”.
We still find it surprising that DICE omitted VOIP communication for the PC version of Battlefield 3. It might have been the result of developing the game for consoles first. Battlefield 2, released in 2005, had VOIP support from the start. It’s especially odd, considering the effort DICE put in to market Battlefield 3 as a true multiplayer experience where teamwork was key — but without many features that promote teamwork or communication between players.
The latest Battlefield 3 patch, released a few weeks ago, was eagerly awaited by gamers, and it fixed a lot of issues and balanced out some things. However, not everyone is pleased. We all have our opinions on the new patch, and depending on whom you ask, some of the weapons have been nerfed too much, some have been buffed too much, etc. DICE’s Patrick Bach responded to patch criticism in a recent interview, saying:
“The biggest challenge when you release a big patch like this is to wait. Because we know that if you have a favourite gun that we have balanced down or you score in a certain way by doing certain things and then we nerfed that down then you will get upset, period.”
Bach continued, saying that they don’t listen to the individual complaints, but to the community as a whole when it comes to tweaking the battlefield 3 gameplay.
“People do not care and they do not know about the big picture, but we do. Because we don’t care about single individuals, we care about everyone. We try to make sure that everyone has a great time and that the balance is overarching. So we have a lot of statistics, we look at all the data and we try to listen to people and ask ‘is this really an issue?’. And in most of the cases it is not an issue.”
We hear you, DICE, but you still gotta get of your behinds and fix the M26 glitch, pronto. Oh, and consider making the tanks not made out of cardboard.
In a recent interview, DICE’s Patrick Bach said the studio is focusing on giving players 12 to 18 months of value for Battlefield 3 through DLC and expansions. Speaking to VG24/7 regarding Battlefield 3′s upcoming DLC, Close Quarters, Bach said:
“We make sure that if you’re a Battlefield player, there should be plenty of Battlefield for you to spend your days on. And again, we are focusing on giving you 12-18 months of value for Battlefield 3 and the expansion packs we’re releasing.”
Battlefield 3 is set to receive 3 DLC packs over the next 6 or so months, starting with Close Quarters in June, followed by Armored Kill this Fall, and Operation Endgame towards the end of 2012. Compared to Battlefield 3′s main competitor, Modern Warfare 3, three DLC packs don’t sound like much: Modern Warfare 3 has so far seen 4 DLC packs, with another 5 planned this year. However, Battlefield 3 DLC tends to be more than just a few maps.
With the release of the new trailer yesterday, EA released a Close Quarters fact sheet as well. The fact sheet includes much of what we already know about Close Quarters, but it also includes a full list of the 10 new weapons in the DLC. The list:
- AUG Assault Rifle
- SCAR Assault Rifle
- ACW-R Carbine
- MTAR-21 Carbine
- M417 Sniper Rifle
- JNG-90 Sniper Rifle
- L86LSW Machine Gun
- LSAT Machine Gun
- MP5K Tactical Machine Pistol
- SPAS-12 Shotgun
There are a couple of old favorites on that list from Bad Company 2 and other Battlefield games, mainly the Steyr AUG, FN SCAR, and the SPAS-12 shotgun. The new Close Quarters weapons will be unlocked the same way Back To Karkand weapons were unlocked: through in-game “Assignments”.
True to the Battlefield spirit, the latest Battlefield 3 patch fixed a lot of thing, but it also included a few bugs on its own. And you have most likely come across that bug while playing the game: the M26 MASS attachment for the assault class is way overpowered due to a glitch. When the M26 is equipped with DART ammunition and the underslung grenade launcher, each dart deals full damage of the main rifle. Which means instant-kills across most ranges.
But DICE is aware of the issue, and according to Gustav Halling (via Twitter), the M26 glitch will be fixed in an upcoming patch. However, he didn’t give a timeline as to when we can expect the patch. Needless to say, the patch can’t come soon enough, as the M26 glitch is getting out of hand already. Given how long it took for previous patches to be released, it looks like we’ll have to live with this for a little while.
DICE has released a new Battlefield 3 server patch that brings a few fixes to the game, including a fix for AA missiles and an additional fix for the “MAV elevator” glitch”. There is also mention of a tweak to tank armor strength, but there isn’t any mention of how much or what exactly the new tweak does. We expect it to have improved tank armor at least a bit, as tanks are practically useless in Battlefield 3 today. The full patch notes:
- Fixed AA missiles not doing damage to vehicles moving at very high speeds
- Fixed TV Missile doing much more damage than it should (it is no longer a 1-hit kill)
- Tweaked tank armor strength
- MAV elevatoring fix, round 2; proning on the MAV will now disable it
- RCON admin.say command can send to individual players
- A few invalid map+gamemode combinations in maplist.txt could crash the server on startup; these combinations are now rejected instead
- RCON vars.serverDescription was not returning anything in R20 if the string was not set; this has been changed to return “” instead
- RCON player.onChat now reports the target player subset
The patch can be downloaded here by server owners and applied as usual.
If you have been living under a rock and you just found out about Battlefield 3, if you’re deciding that this is the time to pick up a copy, you’ll be pleased to know that Amazon has 50% off on Battlefield 3 this week. That means you can get the game for $29.99 as a PC download. Sadly, only the PC download version is included in this offer, PS3/Xbox 360 editions still retail for $45.
Link: Battlefield 3 on Amazon.